Lack Luster Images- Tonal Values in Lightroom and ACR
Many photographers have shot an image that although the camera settings seemed correct, seemed to lack luster when the image appeared on their computer screen especially if shot in the raw format. Sometimes that image may need a little adjustment, or quite a bit. The above image was shot against a grey sky, and of course, the bridge is a steel grey so the image even seemed a little out of focus. There are a few options here to adjust tonality of an image:
Many of these controls have a global influence on the image. Clarity when used very sparingly can soften the skin on portraits but may also brighten an image that may be bright to begin with. Texture has a more subtle effect on portraits and can also soften the skin. Increasing texture can bring out the details in buildings, rocks, and bridges, and other objects with a hard edge in certain landscape images.
Combining one or more of these control may be able to rescue and image that you may have decided to pass by without much thought. Although they may not be able to fix a blurred image due to a shaky camera or missed focal point, but they are certainly worth giving a try.